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Crime, inequality and unemployment in England and Wales

  • Dongxu Wu
  • Zhongmin Wu

A model of crime is developed based on principles from the existing literature with some original insight. The implications of the model are that income inequality and unemployment are important explanatory variables for crimes motivated by economic gain, but do not offer much explanatory power for other types of crime. Panel data of UK regions over the years from 2002 to 2007 are then used to test these predictions. The empirical results strongly support the hypothesis that crime is an economic phenomenon.

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File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1080/00036846.2011.581217
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Article provided by Taylor & Francis Journals in its journal Applied Economics.

Volume (Year): 44 (2012)
Issue (Month): 29 (October)
Pages: 3765-3775

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Handle: RePEc:taf:applec:44:y:2012:i:29:p:3765-3775
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  1. Karin Edmark, 2005. "Unemployment and Crime: Is There a Connection?," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 107(2), pages 353-373, 06.
  2. Ayse Imrohoroglu & Antonio Merlo & Peter Rupert, 1996. "On the political economy of income redistribution and crime," Staff Report 216, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  3. Brush, Jesse, 2007. "Does income inequality lead to more crime? A comparison of cross-sectional and time-series analyses of United States counties," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 96(2), pages 264-268, August.
  4. Witte, Ann D & Tauchen, Helen, 1994. "Work and Crime: An Exploration Using Panel Data," Public Finance = Finances publiques, , vol. 49(Supplemen), pages 155-67.
  5. Richard B. Freeman, 1996. "Why Do So Many Young American Men Commit Crimes and What Might We Do About It?," NBER Working Papers 5451, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Fiona Carmichael & Robert Ward, 2000. "Youth unemployment and crime in the English regions and Wales," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 32(5), pages 559-571.
  7. Reilly, Barry & Witt, Robert, 1996. "Crime, Deterrence and Unemployment in England and Wales: An Empirical Analysis," Bulletin of Economic Research, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 48(2), pages 137-59, April.
  8. Shavell, Steven, 1991. "Individual precautions to prevent theft: Private versus socially optimal behavior," International Review of Law and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 11(2), pages 123-132, September.
  9. Levitt, Steven D, 1997. "Using Electoral Cycles in Police Hiring to Estimate the Effect of Police on Crime," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 87(3), pages 270-90, June.
  10. Morgan Kelly, 2000. "Inequality and crime," Open Access publications 10197/523, School of Economics, University College Dublin.
  11. Fajnzylber, Pablo & Lederman, Daniel & Loayza, Norman, 2002. "Inequality and Violent Crime," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 45(1), pages 1-40, April.
  12. Raphael, Steven & Winter-Ebmer, Rudolf, 1999. "Identifying the Effect of Unemployment on Crime," CEPR Discussion Papers 2129, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  13. Dahlberg, Matz & Gustavsson, Magnus, 2005. "Inequality and crime: separating the effects of permanent and transitory income," Working Paper Series 2005:19, IFAU - Institute for Evaluation of Labour Market and Education Policy.
  14. Ehrlich, Isaac, 1973. "Participation in Illegitimate Activities: A Theoretical and Empirical Investigation," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 81(3), pages 521-65, May-June.
  15. Robert Witt & Alan Clarke & Nigel Fielding, 1998. "Crime, earnings inequality and unemployment in England and Wales," Applied Economics Letters, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 5(4), pages 265-267.
  16. Gary S. Becker, 1968. "Crime and Punishment: An Economic Approach," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 76, pages 169.
  17. Eric D. Gould & Bruce A. Weinberg & David B. Mustard, 2002. "Crime Rates And Local Labor Market Opportunities In The United States: 1979-1997," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 84(1), pages 45-61, February.
  18. Ann Dryden Witte & Helen Tauchen, 1994. "Work and Crime: An Exploration Using Panel Data," NBER Working Papers 4794, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  19. Block, M K & Heineke, J M, 1975. "A Labor Theoretic Analysis of the Criminal Choice," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 65(3), pages 314-25, June.
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